Thursday, October 01, 2015

Himalaya Fall 2015: Summits on Manaslu, Kuriki Launches Second Summit Push on Everest

It has been a tough fall season in the Himalaya so far. Poor weather has stymied numerous climbs, and even sent a number of commercial teams home without success. But we finally have our first summits of the season, as teams topped out on Manaslu yesterday, with potentially more reach the top today.

According to ExWeb, 15 climbers from the Seven Summits Treks team were successful in their bid on Manaslu yesterday. The group got up and down, and were safely back to Camp 4 when they shared the news. The squad consisted of 9 clients from France, Italy, Bulgaria, China, Peru, Australia, and Ecuador, as well as 6 Sherpa guides. They should be descending back to Base Camp today. Congratulations to the everyone!

Hoping to repeat that success today, the Summit Climb team set off this morning amidst good weather and trail conditions as well. With any luck, we'll have a successful update from them later today as well.

The Alpenglow Expeditions team that had been hoping to summit Makalu and make the first full ski descent of that mountain was turned back on their final push yesterday. They reportedly climbed above 8000 meters (26,246 ft), but found unsafe snow conditions and regular avalanches, so decided to pull the plug. Team leader Adrian Ballinger wrote the following on Twitter:
"Push is over and no summit reached. We did ski from a new high point. And everyone safe after some very real avys above 8k. #skimakalu2015"
It is unclear if the team will descend and rest for another attempt, or if they'll decide to go home instead. They may be weighing their options and the moment, and haven't quite decided themselves.

Japanese solo climber Nobukazu Kuriki is expected to set out on a second summit push on Everest today. After being turned back last weekend, Kuriki returned to Base Camp earlier in the week where he rested, regained his strength, and prepared for another go at the mountain. If he proceeds according to plan, he could be in a position to go for the summit as early as this weekend. We'll just have to wait to see if his luck is better this time around, and hope that the current weather conditions hold.

Finally, Ueli Steck has checked in from Nuptse where he says that he has already acclimatized on the 6145 meter (20,075 ft) Lobuche Peak and is now ready to begin his attempt of the very difficult Babanov route. The Swiss Machine may be ready to go, but his partner Colin Haley requires a bit more time, so they'll wait a bit longer before starting their ascent.

Stay tuned for more updates soon. It appears that we'll have another busy couple of days ahead in the Himalaya.

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